Monday, April 30, 2012

Eyes checked

"October 1, 1991:  Finished quilting the pinwheel variation.
October 3, 1991:  Helen and John took me to Dr. Spich, the ophthalmologist.  My eyes seem no worse.
October 4, 1991:  Pinochle at Ida's."

Good eyes are important for both the quilting and the pinochle, so nice that Grandma's eyes were okay.  We know they were a problem in the long run, but that was fixable eventually.

Once again I am left with not much to work with.  Maybe I need a guest blogger one of these days -- fresh eyes and new blood.  Hmmmm.  Will ponder that big time.

Speaking of eyes, I really like Grandma's expression in the photo (she's on the left).  And her little hand protectively keeping that baby from toppling over.  Uncle Ray looks cute standing there, too.  The baby is a cousin, I think.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

End of flower-growing season

"September 26, 1991:  TOPS ARD at Hartington.  Kris drove -- Greta, Carol and I went along.  Mary, Rick and Nancy came in p.m.
September 29, 1991:  Nancy cleaned the flower beds for me."

Hmmm.  I would bet the farm that Mitch came along, too.  I don't recall ever leaving him in Lincoln when we went to Winside.  In fact, I think we might have been turned away to go back and get him if we did.

I am glad it is "play in the dirt" season.  I need to work on my own flower beds.  There is something wholly fulfilling about messing in the dirt whether it is planting new stuff or cleaning up the flowers that are done for the year.  I don't know that everyone necessarily feels that way but I given what I know about others in the family that came before me, I come by my pleasure in dirt naturally.

Here's a photo of four generations of dirt diggers with some tulips in the background as a way of proof.  Sorry, but I didn't have a shot of Nancy nearby to accomplish the same message.  Looks like it was Easter or Mothers' Day.  I wonder who took the photo.  Maybe Nancy was around; I never remember seeing Grandpa with a camera in his hand.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quilting and more quilting

"September 20, 1991:  Pinochle play-off party at Stop Inn.
September 24, 1991:  Lois, Lila, Bertha, Arlene R. helped quilt.
September 25, 1991:  Bertha and Arlene R. helped quilt again."

I guess there wasn't as much quilting coming up as I thought.  Either that quilt didn't need a lot, or those ladies tore it up.

The photo of Grandma Anna is from 1959.  Although she is holding some sheet music, I think she looks like she may have looked if she was heading towards the quilt frame for a session of quilting.  Just kidding -- I have no idea how much she may have enjoyed or not enjoyed quilting.  I just know that she did make some quilts.  No disrepect to her, but she looks older than 74 there.

My internet is still down so this post and tomorrow's will be a bit short.  I think better sitting in my recliner watching Law & Order than I do sitting in the bedroom at John's computer in the dark.

Friday, April 27, 2012


"September 17, 1991:  Got a permanent.
September 18, 1991:  Busy Bees ate at Beckers.  Some of us stopped to visit Irene afterwards.
September 19, 1991:  Froze during the night."

I am hoping (and darn certain) that Grandma meant the temperatures were low overnight, not that she was cold and shivering herself.

I don't know that Grandma got her permanent at Wilva's, but it's a good guess.  I remember tagging along when I was small.  Her beauty shop was in her home, which I thought was pretty cool, not knowing that it was a common thing to do.  Wilva was always so nice and pleasant when she addressed me. 

I didn't really notice it until it was gone, but there was a tree in her yard that ended up as a totem pole in the park.  I don't know which came first, the need to remove a tree or the desire to carve a totem pole.  But, the tree was cut down and the last I knew the totem pole was still in the city park.  It must have been a very straight tree or very big around that they were able to harvest a straight section from the middle.  I don't recall the occasion for the totem pole and maybe there wasn't a special reason to have one. 

The city park, as in most towns, is a bit of a fixture.  I recall Easter egg hunts there and band concerts and homecoming skits and just going to play and get dizzy on the one particular "ride."  It was just a big metal circle ala merry-go-round with metal handles to hang on to so the centrifugal force didn't pitch you off and in the dirt.  And that was a legitimate threat since we had some good pushers that could get that thing really moving.  The handles were like spokes, but had a good shape to them.  You could sit kinda high on the handles on the outside edge and there were low arches near the middle so that you would lay down on your back and poke your head through the arch.  Like a crochet ball in a wicket.  Sounds a bit strange, maybe, but we had fun.

And since Grandma mentioned Aunt Irene, here's a photo of her with some bank friends in California.  Wilva didn't do it, but I like her permanent.  And the great flower.

Totally unrelated, but I must post here that I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday.  A lady called to her young daughter that was getting in to a bit of mischief.  The little girl's name was Hazel.  Adorable.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New quilt

"September 9, 1991:  Put quilt in frame -- variation of pin wheel quilt.
September 11, 1991:  ELCA
September 12, 1991:  Arlene R. helped quilt.
September 16, 1991:  Lois K. helped quilt."

Spoiler alert -- there will be a few more posts in the near future about quilting.  Other than that, I don't have a lot to work with here.  I checked world events for September 1991 and there's not much there either.  There were a number of notable persons who died that month, but I don't want to report on that.

That aside, this is what I learned about September in general.  September begins on the same day of the week as December every year, because there are 91 days separating September and December, which is a multiple of seven (the number of days in the week). No other month ends on the same day of the week as September in any year.  Also, the Anglo-Saxons called the month Gerstmonath, barley month, that crop being then usually harvested.

And, appropriately National Grandparents' Day takes place on the first Sunday after Labor Day in the United States and Canada.  So, my photo was chosen on that basis.  I think the occasion was Mothers' Day but close enough.  I see Aunt Irene's green loveseat there.  Mitch has it with him in Arizona, I am pretty sure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese's

"September 6, 1991:  Pinochle at Ella M.'s.
September 7, 1991:  Went to Lincoln to a kid's pizza place for Dane's birthday.
September 8, 1991:  Dinner at Nancy's for Dane's birthday."

Oh, yes...Chuck E. Cheese's.  That palace of delight for children and chamber of horrors for adults.  The pizza was so-so, but the hot sandwiches were pretty good.  Someone gave me the hint to figure out how long you wanted to be there, and then plan your arrival time so that the place was closing the same time you wanted to bug out.  That way it was the mean Chuck E. Cheese people that were making your little darlings leave, not Mom or Dad.  I found it a good strategy after watching kids being dragged kicking and screaming out the door at times other than closing time.

I recall we had a grand time at Dane's party, no kicking nor screaming.  Dane was a darling as usual and there were balloons and the mechanical singing animals and the ball pit and all kinds of fun.  I do not remember the dinner at Nancy's the next day, however.

The photo is from late 1991 or early 1992, so pretty close.  Can't believe Mitch was sitting nicely on Grandma's lap and not looking overly stressed about it.  Look at the tummy on that boy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dora's birthday

"August 24, 1991:  Went to see Irene in p.m.
August 28, 1991:  Helen, John, Howard and I went to Fremont to see Dora on her 93rd birthday.
September 2, 1991:  Martha, Edwin and Dorothy were here."

I know the title is about Dora, but I've picked a photo of Aunt Irene by one of Uncle Raymond's homegrown wonders.  I don't know if Aunt Irene is holding a normal-sized version of the same cactus or what, but the one against the wall is a monster.  Looks like it rather had a mind of its own as far as wanting to grow straight or not.  Other pictures taken at this same time are of Aunt Irene packing up to move -- I am guessing it was for the move back to Nebraska.

We sure do come from good stock when it comes to longevity, as evidenced here with Dora reaching 93 years young and Uncle Raymond just now turning 99.  And since we all seem to be pretty healthy at the same time, it's a good thing in my opinion.  Even when I was much younger I was taken aback by people saying that someone who died in their 70's had lived a good long life.  In my realm of personal experience, long equals 90 or better.  I had a genealogy researcher question my birth and death dates for Grandpa Wiseman because "people just didn't live to be that old back then".  I guess he has had a different realm of personal experience, so I tried not to be too insulted by his challenge.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Going to the doctor

"August 19, 1991:  New shock absorbers put on Pontiac.
August 20, 1991:  John and Helen took us to Pierce to Dr. Voss.  Howard's blood pressure okay.
August 23, 1991:  Pinochle at Elsie J.'s.  Nancy and Dane came in evening."

Grandma could just as well have said there were new shock absorbers put on the land yacht and I would have known what she meant.  That car wasn't that bad, I guess, but I remember trying to park it even as an experienced driver and heading for the middle of three empty parking spots just to be sure.

I used to get to go to the doctor in Pierce, too.  Dr. Becker came off as a grumpy ol' bear, but I liked him.  I still can't believe I didn't ask him to save my tonsils for me to see, not keep, when he took them out.  I think I was so nervous about getting an i.v. that I wasn't focused.

Dr. Becker was the doctor that nearly strangled me when I had mono.  My tonsils were already practically pushing themselves out of the top of my head and he comes at me with his big strong hands to feel my neck.  I thought I'd choke to death right there.  But instead, on the third needle of the day when the nurse made me stand up to get a shot in my "hip area", a/k/a my behind, I went stiff as a board and fell on her in a dead faint.  Seemed only fair somehow.

I think I had my hair in my infamous Hamil cut then, but this photo is probably not too far off in time from those wonderful memories in Pierce.  I can tell from this photo why people say Mom and I look alike, but it's really the hair more than anything.  We used to stand together in front of the mirror to try to see the resemblence, but never really could.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


"August 5, 1991:  Started cutting pieces for Jayson's quilt.
August 7, 1991:  After long dry spell we had an inch of rain.
August 8, 1991:  Went to Johanna's for her birthday, 96th.
August 9, 1991:  Pinochle at Laura J.'s."

I think that every dictionary, until they don't make print dictonaries anymore, should have a picture of Johanna under the entry "little old lady."  She was one of the cutest little, and I mean little, old ladies ever.  She was cute and sweet and quick to smile.  She kept her house as neat as a pin and dirt and dust were not allowed in.  During a particular cleaning, she took a ladder around the inside of her house and wiped the ceilings.  Someone asked her how she could tell where she had been, knowing that there was no way the ceilings could have been dirty.  Johanna told them matter-of-factly that she knew where she had had the ladder.  I still have a patchword pillow she made for me.

Of course, I don't have a fabulous photo of Johanna available.  But there was the one of her from far away walking with the other ladies at Dorothy Jo's that I posted a little bit ago.  So, on a post where Grandma is talking about a dry spell in the hot month of August, I have selected a photo of Michel and I playing in the snow.  Why not, right?  And I guess it is a teensy bit appropriate since Michele lived pretty close to Johanna's house.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bad backs

"July 16 - 19, 1991:  Extremely hot.  Temperatures to 108 degrees.
July 20, 1991:  Willie and Irene S. and Sophia here.
July 26, 1991:  Nancy came in evening.
July 27, 1991:  Nancy helped me clean the basement.
August 1, 1991:  Howard and I went to Marion, So. Dak. with Irene D. and Wilva.  The doctor said Howard's back and my back were just wearing out!!"

We are all such even, level, unexcitable Scandinavian Lutherans and that makes me love the fact that Grandma used not one, but two exclamation points.  I think I would have used them for the hot temps, but Grandma picked the worn-out backs.  How funny.

I think I already went on before about the scary basement at Grandma's house.  I guess it made an impression on me.  One day in high school English we were to pick ten words and their meaning from the dictionary.  Afterwards we were told to write a poem using as many of the words as possible.  I have a copy of my poem somewhere but I don't remember the words I needed to use off the top of my head.  I do remember that my poem's title made the front page of the little book we made of the poems we all wrote.  Someone made an illustration.  The title of the poem was something dreadful like, "What Actually Happens in the Two Seconds it Takes to Open a Cellar Door to the Sunlight."  That isn't word-for-word correct, but it gives you the idea.  Just hideous, but Ms. D. liked it.
I really can't think about the basement without thinking of Grandma Anna since a good portion of the canned stuff down there was by her hand.  Sometimes in the afternoon the sun would come through the high windows of the basement and light up the dusty air and turn the jars of fruit into shining jewels.  (I guess some of that English creative writing assignment stayed with me.  Ha!!)  So here's a picture of Grandma Anna with some Kahler women at a reunion in 1964.  They all look like capable, proud women to me.  Grandma Anna is second from the left.

Friday, April 20, 2012


"July 10 and 11, 1991:  We quilting ladies tied a comforter for WELCA here at my house.
July 12, 1991:  Pinochle Club here.
July 14, 1991:  Raymond and Marina went home.  Louie and Verna visited here in p.m."

Louie was a cousin of Grandma's and since that bunch of the family didn't get together much when I was a kid, I only knew Louie from the Tastee Treet he owned and ran in Norfolk.  I remember going there as a kid and I always got a big smile from Louie.  He is gone now, but I was pleased to learn some time ago from Mom that not only is the Tastee Treet still a going concern, but Louie's son is running the place.  Mom and I happened to be in Norfolk a couple of months ago and we stopped in for lunch.  I think we spent less than nine dollars for two tastee meals and drinks -- we agreed we were really cheap dates that day and the food was really good as expected.  The place definitely has an old, unremodeled feel to it, which is just fine with me.  There was a picture of Louie on the wall and he was smiling that big smile of his.

Of course, there is a picture of Louie and his siblings that Nancy lent me, now safely in its box but not available for me to scan and post.  I really didn't think I'd need a photo of that group.  So, I am left to come up with something wholly unrelated.  Well, not wholly unrelated since these are Brogrens.  It's a nice photo, I think.  Looking at Grussfather's hands, I would say it's obvious he used them to make a living.  Grussmother and Grandma Anna look happy and content to be taking a rest outside in the sun.  I'm liking this one more and more as I look at it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family reunion

"July 5, 1991:  Family weiner roast at Dorothy Jo's.  Bill, Jenny, Jayson, Jayme, Lora, Weiner and Nancy stayed here.
July 6, 1991:  Family reunion at Legion Hall."

I remember this particular family reunion, but not the weiner roast the night prior.  I remember Mitch was in a walker puttering around at the Legion Hall a little bit, but he mainly just sat.  It is also the occasion (I am pretty sure) of the Kissing Cousins photos that Grandma got such a kick out of.

I need to do better at the reunions of talking to people that I don't normally see and/or talk to.  But I think others need to work on that, too, because I don't have a lot of far-away relatives seeking me out to visit either.  Regardless, people must have a good time at these reunions because they keep coming back.

The photo was definitely taken at Dorothy Jo's and definitely during a 4th of July picnic but I don't know when it was taken.  Close enough.

Almost forgot -- Happy birthday to Grandma Anna.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


"June 29, 1991:  Greta had supper at her place for her birthday.
June 30, 1991:  Went to Lincoln.  Nancy took me to Pastor and Mrs. Wallace Wolff's 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
July 3, 1991:  Painted the back porch floor and the back steps."

No disrespect to the "older" people reading this, but I certainly hope I am in good enough shape when I am 79 years old to get down on the floor and paint it.  That being said, Grandma doesn't give me much to work with here.  She doesn't mention who was at Mom's for her birthday, so I don't know if I was there or not.  I am thinking not since the big family reunion was coming up in a few days. 

Poor Mom -- her birthday often got and gets gobbled up by the 4th of July.  Which gives me a great segue for the photo here.  I have been told the baby is Mom.  And by my powers of deduction, I have decided for now and for always that the photo was taken at the family 4th of July picnic.  My "proof":  1.  Grandma is dressed very nicely and Grandpa isn't wearing work clothes.  2.  Mom looks very teeny and she would have been less than a week old on that particular 4th.  3.  Plus, there is someone standing around taking a photograph, so it must have been a family event, right? 

I love the look of this picture.  Put it with a bunch of other photos of that era and it just jumps out.  It may have just been the timing of the shutter, but Grandma is holding Mom a bit gingerly, a bit unsure it seems.  I like to think Grandpa is looking around, protective of his new babe and her mother.  But then again, maybe he was scoping around to find someone to bring him a beer.  Regardless, it's a great frozen moment.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Old Settlers'

"June 10, 1991:  Heard on radio today that there had been rain someplace in Nebraska every day since May 12.
June 21, 1991:  Raymond and Marina came.
June 22 & 23, 1991:  Old Settlers' Picnic."

What a blast Old Settlers' (possessive, or not?, not sure) used to be.  Some that aren't old enough to remember may marvel at the fact that we had a midway on Main Street in Winside once upon a time.  A ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, octopus, swings and several kiddie rides.  There were ticket booths and food stands and a water fight competition with surrounding towns showing up, and a parade.  There used to be a talent competition, too, and Dale and I went up there as little toads and sang "The Battle of New Orleans", mainly because we knew it very well, having listened to it endlessly on Grandma's old stereo.  The churches in town had food stands.  I don't know which church or if they all did it, but you could get a bottle of pop out of a livestock water tank that had been buried in ice and ice water for a while.  Those pops were soooo cold and sooo good.  I normally had way more ride tickets than my friends because Grandpa would spoil me by buying tons of them.  It is nice to know they are currently gearing up for Winside's 125th year in 2015.  Hopefully the fine folks up there will come up with a great celebration.

"In 1814, we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the Mighty Missisip.  We took a little bacon and we took a little beans and we fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans . . ."

I think I've maybe used this photo before, but it is the best for a post about Dale and me back in the day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Brogren family reunion

"May 27, 1991:  Had dinner at the new Legion Hall.  Nancy went home in p.m.
May 31, 1991:  Pinochle at Leona's.
June 7 - 9, 1991:  Greta, Nancy and I went to Marie Parker's.  On Saturday to Gurley for the 2nd Brogren family reunion.  In the evening to Ronald and Dee's house.  Back home again on Sunday."

Shoot.  It is now obvious that I should have saved the family reunion photo from "yesterday" for today.  I guess it pays to read ahead, something I obviously did not do.

I remember going to western Nebraska in 1978 for some other family get-together.  I got to drive as a brand new driver to get some miles under my belt and probably didn't do so well, but neither Grandma nor Grandpa complained.  It also rained quite hard for a while but they didn't suggest we pull over and let a more experienced driver take over.  I have no idea how nervous they may have been (I know I was), but it was nice that they had confidence in me.

I know we stopped at least once to count cars on a train -- when it was not raining.  We saw several trains during the drive and counted cars when we could.  Grandpa seemed to enjoy that exercise and the trains in general.  At one point we spied a good-sized one and there was a place to pull over and really count and really admire it and as the driver I made the executive decision to do just that.  I can still somewhat picture the spot and visualize the sunny day and the three of us standing outside the car together.  A rather uneventful memory as memories go, but it was a nice one.

The photo is of my favorite Brogrens.

Pretend this one was on Sunday

Internet problems due to the stormy weather, so I didn't have a post on Sunday.  Will do two today.

"May 24, 1991:  Ray came.  Nancy came in evening.
May 25, 1991:  Ray went to get Aileen who had stayed with her sister.  In p.m. we all went out to Brad and Melodi J.'s to see our old home.  Attended Alumni Banquet.
May 26, 1991:  Nancy set out the flowers for me.  Ray and Aileen went back home."

I was able to quickly solve the mystery as to why Nancy came without Dane -- the Alumni Banquet.  Not that he couldn't have charmed everyone there, but you just don't take a kid to that particular event.  And darn it, but I thought I had a photo of Grandma and Uncle Ray at the banquet one year, but instead it is from a family reunion.  Regardless, I think it's a good one to post anyway.  Just squint your eyes a little bit and pretend they are at the auditorium.

At first I thought Grandma was talking about flowers for the flower beds, but now I am not sure if she meant flowers at the cemetery.  In any event, Nancy was a good do-bee and got the work done.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Stop Inn and catching up on comments

"May 17, 1991:  Pinochle at Ella M.'s.
May 18, 1991:  Dinner at the Stop Inn for Ella B.'s birthday.
May 22, 1991:  Lila took me to Wakefield in a.m. to buy flower plants.  In p.m. Margaret K. and her nephew from Montana came to visit."

The Stop Inn was the place to be if you were in high school.  Especially if you didn't drive yet and/or you didn't feel like driving around.  Michele worked there for a while as I recall.  It is the place where I gave one Kim L. mono because we played pinball and shared a pop often after school.  This also started a small mono epidemic at school.  The other Kim L. and I fell into a pool match with some older guys from out of town that we didn't know.  Due largely to Kim's skill we managed to beat them, much to their surprise.  Interesting how Kim continues to play pool and has gone to tournaments around the U.S. and does pretty well for herself.  She met her husband playing pool.  In short, I have fond memories of hanging out at the Stop Inn.

As for comments since the last time I commented on comments -- in fairness to Kyleah, there were photos taken very close in time to the one where she is pouty and unhappy and she was having a great time.

We are obviously a very hard-hearted family since we did go ahead with the meal where the three guests of honor couldn't make it.  But, I guess if everything was ready to go . . .

Both Mom and Nancy recalled that some of Grandma's teachers were also their teachers.  Mom noted one was alive and well when she started at the bank in 1971.  They sure grow healthy people up there in God's country.

There seems to be quite a bit of surprise and regret that more questions weren't asked about Grandma's father when there were people alive that could answer them.  I must admit I didn't ask any, but I am sure that is because I was following others' lead.  I do need to find and post his obituary.  I found it in the Winside Journal and it is from the days when they did more than just report the bare facts.

There was no "Grandma" Ruschman.  Mom says it was an honorary title give to Grandma Anna's friends since Mrs. was too formal and kids just didn't call such folks by their first name.  I am relieved to hear this; I would have been blown away if we had some other relatives that I didn't know about or completely forgot.

Mom made a good point; seeing the Capitol while it was under construction might have been why Grandma was so tickled to be able to see it from her place at Pioneer House.

Radish sandwiches are bread, butter, sliced radishes and salt.  I will trust those that say they are delicious.  I will have to develop an appreciation for the taste of radishes before I can test the theory.

Mitch remembers "helping" in the garden by breaking up dirt clumps -- a fine, fine job for a little boy to have to do.  He also remembers eating veggies right off the vine, an experience all kids should have in my opinion.

He also commented that it is always nice to see photos of Grandma without Maude around. 

He is also enjoying the photos of "THE house".  I must admit I'm loving the one with Grussmother and Grussfather outside at the corner of the house.  For some reason it just struck me, in my "wish I was there then" mode, that there they are sitting in a spot that I have walked and ran over numerous times.  Why it struck me that way since I have also spent thousands of hours in the house they lived in, I don't know, but it did.  Mitch seems to have thought something along those same lines.  In his words, the staircase (since he didn't have to haul things up and down it much) and its sharp turn was "the bee's knees".  I am proud to say he correctly guessed what a chamber pot was.

And speaking of the house, I agree that it is neat that Tom has the porch columns and is keeping them safe and sound.  I am sure he will alert us if he is tired of having them.

Speaking of Mitch and the garden, the photo obviously shows he and Anna by some very bodacious cabbages.  I am guessing no one took a bite out of them right then and there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Miss Reichert

"May 8, 1991:  Pentecost breakfast.
May 10, 1991:  Nancy and Dane came for the weekend.
May 15, 1991:  First radishes from the garden.
May 16, 1991:  Gladys Reichert funeral."

Before I talk about Miss Reichert, I have to mention that Grandma used to eat radish sandwiches,a fact I learned from a comment on this blog.  What goes on a radish sandwich besides radishes?  I need to know this.

Miss Reichert never married and lived with her brother a block from the church.  As I kid I found that highly interesting and for some reason wanted to see inside her house; to see how an adult brother and sister lived.  Weird kid.  She was my fourth grade teacher and also my Sunday School teacher but for which grade(s), I don't remember.  I thought she was old the first time I saw her, but she most surely wasn't.  She and Grandma were good friends yet I don't remember Miss Reichert ever visiting the house while I was there.  Maybe they saw each other enough at school.

A lot of kids said they didn't like Miss Reichert.  I suppose they saw her as "old school" and inflexible but I didn't mind her.  It is because of her that I and my classmates know the words to "Beautiful Nebraska" and "Reading and Writing and 'Rithmatic" -- or whatever the real name of that song is.  I would wager most school kids in this state today don't know of "Beautiful Nebraska" at all.  It would be nice to find out I am wrong.

The picture is a great one of Grandma.  There is no year noted on the back of the photo so I don't know how old she is here, but isn't she lovely.  No wonder Grandpa wanted to take her to a dance.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A wedding

"April 25, 1991:  Trina came -- to see Irene and her folks.
April 27, 1991:  Douglas M. and Dana married at Lincoln church.  Anita N. there -- just back from the Persian Gulf.
April 30, 1991:  Trina went home."

Yay!  Something else I remember -- Doug and Dana's wedding.  Mitch was four months old and wore an outfit that looked like a tuxedo.  Very cute.  And as I recall he behaved very well.  I don't recall if we had a chance to talk to Anita or not, though.

Since Mitch really liked the last photo, I will post another of THE house today.  It was taken in 1925.  Grandma is farthest on the right and Grandma Anna is third from the right.  Grandma is holding a dog -- did they have a dog then?  Grandma Anna's parents are clear to the left.  I like this photo especially since it shows the house before the porch was put on.  I know that Grandma just loved that enclosed porch, but I really, really liked the house this way.  I think I was in elementary school or junior high when the new porch was put on and even then I knew I liked it better the old way.  Looks like there were trees where the garden was after that, but hard to tell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Downs and an up

"April 8, 1991:  Raymond and Marina went home.
April 14, 1991:  Frank Weible and Marina's daughter died.
April 17, 1991:  Nancy, Tom and Merilyn flew to Raymond's.
April 21, 1991:  Kyleah baptized at Omaha church.  Greta and I went down to Lincoln on Sunday."

We have a bit of the circle of life, or time marches on, or something like that in just a few entries here.  I do remember going to Kyleah's baptism, I am happy to report.  I do not recall the meal or reception or party afterwards, however.

Here's a photo of Grandma Anna's parents sitting in front of the house they built.  Grandma told me how her grandmother stayed behind while her husband came to the United States.  She traveled in steerage (which was not pleasant) with three kids, I think.  And after she was here, she lived in not one, but two brand new houses.  What a country!  I have never lived in a brand new house.  Her grandmother had input in to the design of the house and was responsible for that wicked turn on the stairs to the upstairs.  She had a good reason, though -- she did not want people having to come down with their chamber pot and enter into the living room as that was not proper if there was company.  So, she turned the stairs 90 degrees so chamber pots could make a quick turn and go out the back door.  If I recall, the dining room and living room were separated by more of a wall than they are currently and it makes even better sense if that was the case.

I wonder how she liked living on the Great Plains after having lived on an island, and a rather small island at that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pinochle and planting

"April 5, 1991:  Pinochle Club at Elta J.'s.
April 6 & 7, 1991:  Howard planted corn, potatoes, peas, more parsnips.  Very warm -- 81 degrees.
April 6, 1991:  Frances C., Cathy and Cassandra A. were here in p.m."

I am thinking if I had my garden started and ready to roll, that this would be a good resource for when to plant what.  But . . . nothing tilled up yet.  Soon, maybe.

The photo is one that Nancy shared recently.  Isn't it great that these three guys decided to have a photo taken in their everyday clothes?  I wouldn't have recognized Uncle Chris if asked, but once I knew it was him it was quite obvious.  I wonder what prompted them to have this taken and then to get several postcards made of the photo.  Of course, it doesn't matter.  I am just glad that they did.  It is Uncle Chris on the left, Bill Andersen (Papa) in the middle, and a non-family member on the right.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another restaurant I don't remember

"April 2, 1991:  Gaylord came in late afternoon and installed the ceiling fan in bedroom.  The first radishes Howard planted are up.
April 3, 1991:  Guest Day at St. Paul's Ladies Aid.  Gertrude V. the speaker.
April 4: 1991:  Raymond and Marina treated John, Helen, Howard and me to dinner at Becker's in Norfolk.  Raymond, Marina, Howard and I visited Irene.  Seemed fairly good."

I couldn't find where Becker's is or was on a bet.  But, that's okay.

I don't remember that Grandma was a huge fan of radishes, even though I think she liked them, so I am guessing she mentioned them because they were the first thing to come up in the garden.  The photo here is obviously from later in the gardening season (whichever year it was taken) but I don't have a photo of radishes so had to make do.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 1991

"March 30, 1991:  Greta and I went to Lincoln in p.m. to Mary and Rick's.  Dale and family came, too.  We four gals -- Greta, Nancy, Mary and I went shopping after supper.  I stayed at Nancy's.
March 31, 1991:  Easter Sunday -- We went to Bill's.  Raymond, Marina and Howard came for dinner and the p.m.  Beautiful day.
April 1, 1991:  Went with Raymond and Marina to see Irene.  She seemed pretty good."

Maybe it's too early in the day, but I got nuthin' here.  Certainly glad to hear Aunt Irene was doing well and that we had a beautiful day for Easter. 

I felt compelled to share the photo even though it has nothing to do with 1991.  It jumped out at me because Grandma Anna looks to be full of attitude.  Uncle Ray looks like Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption and Grandma has a kinda sly look on her face.  I would love to know what was going on.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Back to 1991

"March 23, 1991:  Raymond and Marina came.
March 25, 1991:  Irene moved to Bel Air nursing home.
March 28, 1991:  Went with Raymond and Marina to see Irene.  Howard planted potatoes.
March 27, 1991:  Thunder, lightning, rain, sleet - snow.  Almost a real blizzard.  Quit about 2:00 a.m.  Had about 6 or 7 inches of snow.
March 28, 1991:  Helen and John took us to Pierce.  Howard's blood pressure ok.  Visited Irene on way home.  She seemed better."

It looks like there's a little time traveling going on here, but I don't think so.  I have looked at it and looked at it and I think the number that is clearly a "28", the one before the 27th, is supposed to be a "26".  It makes sense in the order she wrote everything down plus I don't think Grandpa planted potatoes the day after a near-blizzard.

But get this, the photo for today has 1991 written on the back.  So, a photo that is very close in time to what Grandma is writing about.  As you know, that doesn't happen very often.

Nancy loaned me a box of photos.  They are mainly Andersen and Brogen photos and they are quite the treasure trove.  I will post them as I can fit them in.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Story of Grandma, Part 6 -- the last installment

While in Pueblo we drove up into the mountains.  Two cars went to the mountains.  Uncle Jim found a place where we could camp for the night.  He and Aunt Nan went back to Pueblo and Mom, Ray, Merle, Russell and I spent rather an uncomfortable night on the ground.  We tried to put branches under our blankets but they slipped out of place.

The next morning we took a trail up the mountain.  The trail had been made by members of the CCC camp.  First we walked through quaking Aspens -- such a lovely sound.  Then the evergreen trees and finally to the timber line where the trees were twisted and out of shape and then just a stubbly kind of grass to the top of the mountain.  This was 66 years ago but I can still remember the mountain lake below us -- the light blue water around the lake and the deep blue water in the center.  The stillness was so great -- not a sound to be heard except the chirp of a bird we couldn't see.  The trip up Pikes Peak years later wasn't nearly impressive as this my first time on top of a real mountain.

Here we go with the last installment:

The winter of 1935-36 was a bad one - so much snow.  During the latter part of the winter I missed several days of school -- had a bad attack of sciatica.  I used crutches for awhile after I got back to school.

I don't remember when Howard "popped the question" but anyway he rented a farm and we planned to get married.  Alma Lautenbaugh, Bess and Dorothea Rew gave me a shower.

We were married June 7, 1936 by Rev. Wm. Mast at the parsonage.  Big church weddings weren't the thing at that time.  Helen and Ray were our attendants.

The end.  We can at least figure out when Grandma wrote this -- she is talking about 1934 being 66 years ago, so it was sometime during 2000.  It would be interesting to know if she started before or after Grandpa's diagnosis.  Nothing in the 14 pages about her lovely children and grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, but if she mentioned none of them, then she couldn't be preferential to any of them, right?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Story of Grandma, Part 5

Without further ado, here we go.

The summer after the third year of teaching I went to Summer School to renew my certificate.  Alma Lautenbaugh and I roomed at Uncle Chris's.  The next two years I taught 21 North which was 2 miles east and 1 mile north of Winside.

I don't remember when I first became acquainted with Howard.  Mom said it happened many years ago.  Mom, Papa, Ray and I were at a barn dance.  As we came onto the haymow a boy kept going back and forth in front of me.  Turned out it was Pete Iversen's boy Howard!!  Of course I don't remember that.

I think we became acquainted at Dane dances and "Party dances".  Alma and I were quite friendly then -- Howard asked why I didn't join the Rebekah Lodge.  Since Alma was a member it followed and then I joined.

He asked me for our first date at lodge as all were leaving.  The Carroll lodge had invited the Winside group to a meeting.  I said "Yes" and the rest is history.

While teaching at 28 North I boarded with Walter Goodlings the first year and Florenz Niemans the second year.

The summer of 1934 was a trip to western Nebraska and Colorado.  Ray, Bill Brogren, Grandma Ruschman were in one car and I was with Hans Brogren in his car.  The "boys" were going for the wheat harvest.  They went to Art & Emilie Holts.  I stayed there a few days and then took a bus to Pueblo, Colorado to visit Uncle Jim, Aunt Nan and family.

When the wheat harvest was over Mom went by bus to Sidney.  Ray met her there and she spent a few days visiting with Art and Emelia.  Then they (Ray and Mom) drove to Pueblo.  Uncle Jim had worked at a smelter.  We took a tour of the process -- saw where the ore was melted -- molten iron ore poured into large kettles then into molds and down the line to the room where nails, etc. were made.  It was a fascinating experience.

I am sorry to report that is it for this somewhat short post and also that tomorrow's post will be the last of this particular story.  But who knows?  I may find other treasures that Grandma left behind.  And someone tell me -- who is Grandma Ruschman?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Story of Grandma, Part 4

Our class rented a bus and went to Lincoln for Sneak Day.  We toured the Capitol Building but only to the second floor as the building was under construction.  Capitol Beach was a pleasure park.  We tried several of the rides.  In the evening we went to a movie "The Golden Calf".  A manufacturer of ladies hosery set up a standard for the perfect calf and offered quite a prize.  His "mousie" secretary had the perfect calf.  I got sick during the movie and went to the nurses's station.  Some years later the movie came to Winside and I found out how the secretary wowed her boss.  We got back to Winside at 5:00 a.m. and graduation was that night!  I was valedictorian and Marvin Trautwein was salutatorian.  Our superintendent said, "No notes!"  I followed orders and stumbled several times but Marvin took his notes along anyway.

Several summers during my high school years I worked in the drug store.  Other summers I was a "hired girl".

I went to Wayne State College and stayed with Uncle Chris and his second wife Mildred.  Mildred's mother was an invalid -- paralyzed from the waist down.  I think she must have been some character for I seem to remember she and her boyfriend had a disagreement -- he shot her in the back and so she was paralyzed.  I didn't pay board or room for I was to be there with her whenever Uncle Chris and Mildred wanted to go places. 

At that time one year of college provided you with a certificate good for three years teaching a country school.  My first school was Dist. 86 a few miles north of Hoskins.  I boarded with Casper Walkers.  There were four young people there.  The oldest girl Evelyn was my age.  Then there was Myron or Mike as he was called, Mildred and Bud.  I can't remember Bud's name.  They were active in their church and I went to the young peoples' meetings with them.  I stayed there two years and the 3rd year I was at Dist. 86 I boarded with Albert Behmers.  The first year I taught I received $70 a month for nine months.  Then with bad times it was $50 a month and I paid $10 a month for board and room.

I looked it up and Grandma was clear and correct -- the Capitol Building was under construction in 1930 and was not finished until 1932.  I, being used to the capitol building always being already built, thought maybe she meant it was being remodeled or worked on in that way.  Nope.  It was still under construction when she was there.

Capitol Beach to me has meant a housing development, but I did know that it was once an amusement park.  I found this information online: 

Salt first made the area famous. By the early 1860s, several companies were
extracting salt. When that industry declined, the water attracted people in the
late 1880s who felt it had curative benefits.

It was a time when the area was a showcase -- Lincoln's Coney Island,
some called it. William McKinley made a presidential campaign speech there in
1896. Steamboat rides carried as many as 50 people. The area provided
several decades worth of entertainment. Carnival rides, a saltwater swimming
area, a park, a ballroom, a wooden roller coaster, a fun house and electric
bumper cars all had their heyday at one time or another in the lake's history.

It sounds like the park was there for quite awhile and the lake was drained in 1950, so the above description probably is somewhat accurate as to what Grandma experienced there.  I don't have dates for the postcard photos but thought they might be of interest anyway.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Story of Grandma, Part 3

I am thinking I should have called this something better like, "In Her Own Words" but I'm stuck now.

When we had a real nice gentle rain Mom let Ray and me take the big umbrella that Papa had used during field work out on the lawn and with boards to sit on we enjoyed the rain.

When I was in the 7th grade our class took the 8th grade exams.  Eighth graders from country schools came to town schools to take these tests.  There were 14 different ones which had to be passed before you could enter high school.  Seventh graders could take four of them and if they passed they had only 10 to take the next year.  Miss Mettlen always graded the Winside pupils' papers.  But the year I was in the eighth grade we had a new superintendent that decided our papers should to Wayne to the County Superintendent's office to be graded.  That meant we all had to take the 14 tests in the two days.  But even so I managed to have the highest test average in the county!!  All the class passed and Mom let us have a party at our house.  I think Bonnie Moses helped with the lunch, etc.  I think we played Cootie and our dice were cubes of loaf sugar marked to look like dice.

The 14 subjects we took tests on:  Arithmetic, Mental Arithmetic, Civics, History, Geography, Grammar, Drawing, Spelling, Penmanship, Geo. & History of Nebr., Reading, Physiology.

At that time in High School each student took four classes -- the school day was divided into eight periods.  When I was a Sophomore several Juniors had to take Bookkeeping -- I guess they had flunked another class and were taking this as make up.  Regardless Marvin Trautwein and I were chosen to take the course, too.  So we were both taking five subjects for one semester and kept our grades high.

At that time the Jr.-Sr. Banquet (as it was called then) was always held at the Methodist Church.  Our class chose a flower garden theme.  Mom let us make our paper flowers at our place.  I can't remember how many kids came or how many nights we worked on our "flower garden".

This is a little short, but I picked the best stopping point to keep it from being really long.  I hate to correct Grandma on anything, but I counted 12 subjects instead of 14.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Story of Grandma, Part 2

Here is more of Grandma's 14 pages.  It is interesting that she calls Grandma Anna "Mama" when she is talking of a period when her dad was alive, but later on she calls her "Mom." 

Ray says he remembers that at meal time Papa would draw the outline of a state for us to name.  Papa belonged to the Volunteer Fire Department.  One day Ray had coasted down the hill in his wagon to meet Papa who walked home for dinner.  Papa pushed Ray up the hill past the Methodist Church and then home.  When they got to the house the fire whistle blew.  There was a chimney fire at the Methodist Parsonage and Papa hadn't seen it when he was pushing Ray.  Mama told me that story.

Papa also served as a substitute mail carrier.  I can remember that one time Ray and I rode along.  It was a sunny day with scattered clouds.  How Ray and I enjoyed it when we were in the shadow of a cloud.

Papa died October 29, 1920 after surgery for ruptured appendix.  All I can remember is that Mama must have come home from the hospital in Wayne and Bonnie Moser -- a good friend -- had come to the house.  Bonnie, Mama, Ray and I were standing over a register in the living room.

This isn't much to know about your father.  I've often wished that when I stayed at Uncle Chris's I would have asked him about what kind of a person was Papa - talkative? serious? joking?  I'll never know.

Papa had bought a farm near Gordon, Neb. and we were going to move there in the spring.  But we never moved.  Mom started to sew for other ladies.  I'm not sure who started her on that path.

We had a Nash -- not a sedan -- side curtains if it started to rain.  It was called a 7-passenger.  There were two little seats that opened up from the back of the front seat.  Ray and I usually sat in back and it was a question who got to sit behind the driver.  If we were gone at night we both tried to act asleep when we got home so we wouldn't have to get out and open the garage doors.  Never worked though!

Summertime one year was spent playing with paper dolls.  Marjorie Misfeldt and Mildred Moser lived in the two houses south of us.  Our paper dolls were cut from the catalog.  We always had a family with 3 or 4 children.  We cut the people from the catalog -- no fixing tabs to put on different clothes -- just a different 'doll.'  Catalogs then had furniture so a magazine was used to be a house, a page for each room.  Our paste was flour and water.  Our west bedroom upstairs was a spare bedroom.  Mom let us scatter our mess there for weeks at a time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Story of Grandma, Part I

I will leave 1991 for a little while since it turns out one of Grandma's notebooks has 14 handwritten pages of her recording certain memories and events of her life.  I won't put all 14 pages in one post, but will start and stop where it seems natural and will post all over six or seven posts.  Or whatever it turns out to be.  Some of the handwriting is a little rough when it comes to names I am not familiar with, so I ask your forgiveness for any goofs.

On Feb. 1, 1911 William Andersen, Anna Brogren, Chris Andersen and Emma Brogren rode the train to Wayne.  William and Anna were married by the County Judge.  Uncle Chris and Tanta Emma were their attendants.

Mama and Papa went by train on their wedding trip.  I'm not sure if they stopped in Washington County to see Papa's cousins or if they also went to Iowa to see some of Mom's relatives.  I do know they went to Holyrood, Kansas to visit Grussmother's sister, Martha Simpson and family.  On their return to Winside they stopped in Omaha and bought the "talking machine."

They moved in with Grussmother and Grussfather on the farm where Rod Brogren's live now.  Grussfather had a sale and Papa took over the farming operation.

I was born Feb. 3, 1912.  That September Grussmother and Grussfather moved into their new house in Winside.

I'm not sure when my folks moved to town.  Papa and Uncle Chris Andersen had bought the garage from the Gabler brothers.  We probably moved during February of 1917.  At that time it was customary for farmers to move Mar. 1.  We would have to have been away from there by that time for the new renter to move in.  I have no idea when or if Papa had a sale or who the new renter might have been.

I started school in Winside.  At that time there was no Kindergarten but there was an A Class which must have been the same.  After A Class was 1st grade.  My teacher was Josephine Carter.  We used slates and slate pencils at first.  I don't know when we graduated to pencils and paper.

Miss Carter had A Class, 1st and 2nd grades.  Myrtle Leary was 3rd and 4th grade, Bess Leary 5th and 6th grade and Gladys Mettler 7th and 8th grades.  I remember that when I was in A class the weather evidently worsened in the morning because Papa brought lunch to school for me.  What a treat to eat at school at noon!

I will leave it there until tomorrow.  Grandma talks more about her Papa.  No recipe and no photo today.